Inside the CFDA After Party with Victor Cruz, Gigi Hadid, Jhene Aiko and More

Jenna Lyons, Maxwell Osborne, Prabal Gurung, and Dao Yi Chow at the CFDA After Party. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

January Jones, Janelle Monae, Zackary Quinto, Bella Hadid, Jemima Kirke (and the Fat Jew) showed up to celebrate the exclusive CFDA After Party co hosted by Refinery29 at the Top of the Standard.

After the CFDA Awards it’s the after party — and supper — where winners and stars celebrated fashion’s finest.

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Rachel Roy and Britney Snow. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Cynthia Rowley and Harley Viera Newton. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Diane Von Furstenberg. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Janelle Monae and Legendary Damon. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Jhene Aiko, Prabal Gurung, and January Jones. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Jenna Lyons. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Jenna Lyons, Maxwell Osborne, Prabal Gurung, Dao Yi Chow. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Tom Van Dorpe, Miles McMillan, Zackary Quinto, Harley Viera-Newton, Richard Chai and Gigi Hadid. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Victor Cruz with Ovadia & Sons. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

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Gigi Hadid (and Bella Hadid). Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Esteban Cortazar and  Hanne Gaby Odiele. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Jemima Kirke and Zackary Quinto. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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June Ambrose. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Mickey Drexler, Karlie Kloss and Casey Neistat. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Instagram’s Kevin Systrom and The Fat Jew. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Daria Strokous and Natasha Poly. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Maxwell Osborne and Misha Nonoo. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Jason Wu and Nadja Swarovski. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Maxwell Osborne and Binx Walton. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

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Joan Smalls and Victor Cruz. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

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Karen Elson, Tabitha Simmons and Jessica Hart. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

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Taraji P. Henson and Vanessa Hudgens. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

“Like Playing Deer Hunter, But with Celebrities” — NYFW’s Best Parties

Adult Magazine’s new issue at American Two Shot

Thursday night my buddy Corey Olsen; a photographer, and myself, whatever I am, decided we would hit some fashion week parties so you didn’t have to. After checking out the new issue of Adult magazine at American Two Shot we headed over to the Meatpacking because *we luv 2 party*. We met up with some friends to, you know, “paint the town red” or something and started making our way over to the Essential Homme party at Gilded Lily. Ja Rule was set to perform and I didn’t want to miss that. I also invited along my brother, Tucker, who works in finance and told me how he ended up at the Zana Bayne show earlier which sort of baffled all of us, including him.

We arrived at Essential Homme to a mob at the door and the news that nobody was getting in. By some grace of god, or perhaps just friendship with the PR, I managed to get our posse of nine in. However, once we got inside it became clear why the door was closed. The party was so full that despite getting inside there was no way of getting past the crowds of suave dudes. Our team decided that sadly this wasn’t the play, and turned back to the mean streets of the meatpacking.

Our crew dispersed with most of our friends heading to Chromat and ODD’s parties while Corey and I made our way over to Richard Chai’s after-party at Up & Down. The scene was vastly different — no insanity at door and room to breathe inside. We were quickly directed to the cool boy celebs we needed to take pics of — the Jonas brothers (Joe was DJing!), Darren Criss of Glee, and Richard Chai himself. I fancy myself a teen heartthrob so it was nice to be with my peers.

darren ashley richard Darren Criss, stylist Ashley Weston, and Richard Chai

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Nick Jonas and friend

As I looked around for some of my actual peers I was surprised to not really recognize anyone until my girl Hari Nef rolled in looking gorgeous in green.

My babyI wore a logo-print presumably fake Dior cap all night

As more familiar faces rolled in we got to dancing and made our way upstairs (Get it? *UP* & *DOWN*, LOL) for Adult’s second party. The up became the down and the whole thing became sort of non-specific.

party girls dont get hurt“Party girls don’t get hurt” — Chandelier by Sia

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Party girl David Moses

zak krevittParty girl Zak Krevitt

We eventually made our way to Boom Boom Room where all good parties happen. We couldn’t take photos but I’ll give you a couple fun facts and you will have to believe me. Outside I heard a guy scolding the door-girl, “Don’t stamp me, I have to model tomorrow.” RJ Mitte (another heartthrob, the son from Breaking Bad) was talking to Alessandria Ambrosio and they both looked real good. We sort of felt like we were playing Deer Hunter, but with celebrities, and whatever was cool that we could share with you was worth points. There wasn’t open bar so I paid $12 for their cheapest beer. We decided we were done running around looking for the best party/pum-pum/turn-up/jump-off and looked out over the skyline. Hari sighed in relief, “I’m living for the Freedom Tower; I’m living for the moon.”

All photos by Corey Olsen

Boy George Wants You

Boy George

Boy George’s performance led to an afterparty at Boom Boom Room in the Standard Hotel. It was a private affair with many of Boy’s NYC friends in attendance and a rumored performance by David Bowie himself that never really happened. Here’re some pics of the night.

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Besties Danielle Levitt and Ladyfag

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Kayvon Zand

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Countess Luann

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Me peeing in the sink.

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Boy George

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Erich Conrad + Derek Blasberg

New Nightlife Trends Emerge at 13th Annual Bar & Restaurant Show

The 13th Annual Bar & Restaurant Show will hit the Jacob K. Javits Center in NYC on June 26th and 27th. Operators today can’t pigeon-hole themselves into concepts like "I’m a nightclub operator" or "I’m a restaurateur.” Today’s market place often demands more than the usual revenue streams. Club guys basically sell air and booze, and restaurateurs throw in food. Money from before-hours or late bar sales may keep a place afloat or help it suddenly thrive. More than ever, nightclub operators recognize the need for a food component/kitchen since it helps the venue maximize corporate catering revenues and provides early revenue streams. Look around town and see the pairing of the restaurant with the lounge as the norm. Trade shows give hospitality managers the latest info that can change red ink to black. I asked Steve Wesler- CEO and producer of The Bar & Restaurant Show for On-Premise – to tell us all about it.

What will make this 13th annual show a lucky bet?
The lucky bet is that I guarantee attendees will leave with more information and knowledge then when they arrived. After years of hearing from On-Premise Food and Beverage Professionals’ owners and operators complain that they are overwhelmed, with no time to attend Las Vegas trade events and no one to help them develop better tools to succeed, it became obvious to me that this is the right approach for the industry; keep it local, keep the educational series relevant and simple, bring in new and hot products and services that can only be seen at our show, and make the show floor fun and user-friendly.

What type of innovations will visitors see and be able to bring back to their bar or club?
Social media and how the competition is using it is the latest innovation that has developed with the acceptance of the smartphone. How do you create an app that will increase traffic and not cost a fortune? They will be able to compare different approaches and products so they can make an educated choice among the various new apps available at the show. New digital signage, quick printing for advertising, social media awareness, and POS systems will all be highlighted through product displays as well as through our seminars.

Tell me about the liquor components to the show.
There are a few components when it comes to spirits and wines. Cachaca from Brazil, new whiskey brands, spirits directed toward women, acceptance of kosher wines for everyone, as well as the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, that takes place during the show. This Competition is produced by Anthony Dias Blue, and hundreds of new wines and spirits are being judged for medals that these manufacturers can use for promotion and advertising.  This is where so many new brands come before they hit the street.

Who is showcasing their products and who typically attends?
Brand manufacturers, distributors, APP developers, POS, craft spirits and beers, NY wines, kosher wines, furniture, bar games, mixers, music, lighting, signage, ATMs. The people that attend are owners and operators of bars and restaurants, beverage and food directors, distributors, importers, casino staff, caterers, bartenders, chefs and their staffs.

Nightlife is constantly evolving. What are some of the innovations or trends now commonly used in the industry that were hawked in the last 13 years?
One of our sponsors is the Hero Campaign, which promotes having a designated driver. They promote this through the bars and restaurants to make sure they don’t over pour. This is a national trend which is being an absolute trend throughout the industry.

Other trends include more computerization through POS, and inventory control systems that help multi-unit establishment control theft and keep their employees honest.

One of our seminars is The New York Cocktail Scene Trends, moderated by Mike Ginley of Next Level marketing. The panel includes representatives from Zubrowka Vodka, Pisco Porton, Ultimate Vodka, and a mixologist  from the Boom Boom Room. These guys are on the front line of what is happening in NYC and throughout the US and world.

Age verification is much more sophisticated than it used to be. Systems now can identify phony licenses and IDs quickly.

What are people in the industry NOT doing now that they used to do?
Smoking, doing drugs on site, putting drunks out on the street. Managers of these establishments are more aware of the liability that is present everyday in their establishment. Fire liability is a constant issue if bands and performers use smoke and fire. Insurance will not protect licensees if drugs are found on the premise and if you over pour to your patrons. There is also much better age verification now, as compared to everyone years ago having a phony ID.

What makes your spirits competition unique?
It all goes back to who the judges are; Anthony Dias Blue of Blue Lifestyle, is the editor of The Tasting Panel and the executive director of the San Francisco Int’l Spirits and Wine Competition. He heads our competition.  The judges include VPs, directors, sommeliers, journalists, and presidents from such places as Corton,Junoon, Landmarc Tribeca, Bourgeois Pig, Gin Palace, and Huckleberry Bar.

Are mocktails a real trend? Have bars promoted and seen an increase in serving these to sober patrons, designated drivers, or families?  What’s the audience for mocktails?
One of the hardest things to do when you go out with friends and family is to be a teetotaler. Our Mocktail Competition is unique and the first of its kind. It allows customers to feel like they are drinking but without the side effects of alcohol. Is it trend?  According to the Hero Campaign, designated drivers are looking for more than soda and fruit juice. The Mocktail Competition, sponsored by Ocean Spray and one2one.com, has created many new recipes that are unique and quite tasty. The winner can walk away with a $1,000 prize; 2nd place:$750, and 3rd Place:$250. The judges rate the cocktails on taste, appearance, originality, aroma, and overall impression. Participants have six minutes to make four drinks.

Why New York? What makes it the right place to hold this show?
There are more establishments with a liquor license within 100 miles of NYC than any place on earth. And where else can you see the best theatre, museums, a wide range of hotels, great restaurants and bars, visit Little Italy or Soho, see sports, sightsee, and more.  New York City is the entertainment capital of the world and that is why we are here.

DJ Elle Dee: “I Made the Wrong Comment In Front of The Right Person!”

I’m still recovering from the weekend which lasted an extra day for me. That was an extraordinarily wonderful idea. I saw The Hunger Games and loved it but offer a couple of observations. The club world was looking like those people 10 years ago, and it is wonderful that some people postulate that the extraordinary from now will be the norm. Michael Alig, Sacred Boy, Astro Earle, and the club kids of our recent past may have been a lost bunch, but they did do this… then. Secondly, as a hospitality designer, I must poo-poo the future furniture and set designs. Almost everything I saw I have seen before and is for sale at the modern furniture boutiques that grace our town. The rooms looked like something out of the The Real World L.A. rather than a true futuristic vision. I would have done better, as would a thousand other design visionaries.

As a DJ in this wonderful town, I offer my own rock and roll stew at places that want that sort of thing. Adam Alpert at 4AM (which handles me) puts my ass in the right seat. Most clubs in town offer up the same old mash-up and mixed- format swill to their bottle-buying guests. It’s what they want when they pop bottles and so they must have it. Most DJs in these situations could do so much more but find themselves playing down to the crowd as musical ignorance is bliss. I am not complaining, as I enjoy my niche. It is wonderful when I walk into a room and hear a DJ that curls my toes and fills my ears with sounds less often heard. At The Double Seven the other night, DJ Elle Dee thrilled me. I asked her some questions about herself and her craft.

How did a nice girl like you become a DJ?
I grew up in a very musical home. My mother’s father used to play bossa nova with the big guys so my whole life we had jam sessions in my living room till very late at night. I started to play drums myself I was 14, so music was always a huge part of my life. Back in São Paulo (where I’m from), I started to play at rock parties when I was only 19. At that point it was all vinyl too; there were no computers and even CDs were not accepted at all. It was the real deal. It was only a fun thing to do though, not my full-time job. I was finishing studying journalism and had my own fanzine to work on. When I moved to New York five years ago this April, I managed to do what I do best… I made the wrong comment in front of the right person!!! I was out with some friends and said to one of them “Why is it so hard to find a good DJ in NY.” A voice came into the conversation and said, “Can you do better?”  The following Monday I was on and, of course, after the first song the whole equipment collapsed and the music stopped completely – haha.  I recovered from that pretty quickly though and soon everyone was having a great time. I locked my first weekly gig that night.

I heard you spin the other night and was quite impressed. When we spoke, you talked about how rare it is to find a place to play that doesn’t want a commercial or familiar set. Expound.
I am actually really lucky to only have gigs where I can play what I like and believe in. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. I like to work with owners that understand that a cool night is good for business too – even refreshing, let’s say. It also attracts interesting people.

DJ Elle Dee

How do you mix in newer or hipper stuff to keep from going nuts and continue enjoying your craft?
As a DJ, I believe I should be the one to find what’s new and good out there. Even though I’m all about the old stuff, it’s so nice when you discover a new band or track that amuses or inspires you and then get to share it with everyone else. It’s like a mission every night and I love that challenge. I try to make a new track mix with an old one that I know everyone already loves, and get them to believe that the new one is one they’ve known for ages. Making it work is a challenge, but I love it! Getting people going with new or even obscure tracks – it’s what gets me going! And that’s when I remember why I put myself through all the work. It’s very rewarding.

Where will this take you and what else do you do?
That’s a question that I wish I had the answer to myself! As long as I’m involved and around music, I’m happy. And if I can make a living out of it, ever better. I am a musician at heart and always will be. DJing gives me stability and a way to explore and learn every day, and that allows me to work on my own music. I’m in a good place right now and feel confident to be going back to the studio to work on my own tracks. I’ve been writing songs for years and now it’s time to get ready to perform live. I will always keep spinning though because I really love what I do. If I go on a vacation, for example, after only a few days I already miss the DJ booth and, of course, all those people dancing on the other side.

Where can we hear you?
Right now I spin in the city five nights a week so it’s not that hard to bump into my set here and there. I’m regularly at The Electric Room at the Dream Downtown, Boom Boom Room at the Top of The Standard, The Double Seven, and Soho Grand. I travel a lot, opening shows for bands as well. I’m about to go back home on a little tour which is gonna be so great. So far, I have six gigs booked and a few more that we’re trying to fit in as I’ll only be there for two short weeks. Once I’m back I’ll finalize my website –djelledee.com– which will have some mixes for all. I’ve got some very big surprise gigs coming up but I can’t tell you quite yet… Once I can, I will be posting it on my Facebook and all those other communication tools of life.

DJ Martial Is Just Getting Warmed Up

Marshall Weinstein, known to club-goers and music aficionados as DJ Martial, is having trouble getting used to the deep freeze New York currently finds itself mired in. When I reach him by phone at his Brooklyn apartment, he’s just returned from a work trip to the Caribbean, a difference of 1,650 miles and five layers of clothing. "I was DJing in St. Maarten in 85 degree weather and here it’s 10 degrees outside," he says with a laugh. "The airplane wouldn’t even go to the gate because it was frozen, they had to bus us in. It was crazy." He won’t be frozen for long, as he’ll soon be on his way to balmy New Orleans for a handful of gigs centered around the upcoming Super Bowl. We caught up with him during his brief layover to find out how he got started, his favorite clubs to perform in, and his secret for de-stressing fast.

Where are you from, and what kind of stuff were you into as a kid that led you to being a DJ?

I went to elementary, middle, and high school outside of Boston. I started DJing in 1993 when my older brother introduced me to underground electronic rave music. I was 13 at the time. When I graduated from high school I moved to New York City. My mom is originally from Long Island and my dad is originally from Coney Island, Brooklyn, and my whole family lived in the New York area, so it was a no-brainer. I went to Hofstra and DJ’d my way through college. I’ve been actively in the New York music scene since 1998 when I came to the city.

So, Yankees or Red Sox?

I’m definitely an all-Boston sports fan. It’s a little upsetting with the Patriots losing recently, however now that I’ve got some gigs at the Super Bowl I can focus on work and not sports.

How did you start DJing in the city?

When I got to New York, I realized that I had access to the best city in the world that had the best music. At Hofstra I was on the radio, and I majored in television video production communications, so music was always a part of my life. Whether it was in the studio working with audio tracks or video, or at the radio station on the air, all I did was music music music. When I got out of college, I was still DJing nights and weekends. With my full-time job – I worked at MTV and in the industry – eventually it steamrolled. I was picking up more and more gigs to the point where I was burning the candle at both ends. I couldn’t be in a television studio at six o’clock in the morning when I got out of a club at four.

So you decided to make a change?

In 2006 I realized that I’ve been DJing for 13 years, but I had a career in television. I said to myself, I’ve always wanted to be a full-time DJ. I had an opportunity to work overseas for three months as a DJ, so I sat down with my boss at the time and explained it to him. He said, you’ve got a lot of passion for this, so go for it. I put in my two weeks, it was December 2006, and since then I’ve been a full-time DJ. I also do a lot of private events, not just in New York but around the nation and internationally, and I book DJs at clubs and events through my company, SET Artist Management.

Is that when the momentum started to build?

Once you do one event it leads to another. Being humble and staying true and smiling and constantly following up with everybody, it leads to an escalation. Since then I’ve never looked back or second-guessed myself on leaving a career that I went to college for.

What kind of clubs were you playing at the time?

When I went overseas I was working in Israel, in various places in Tel Aviv,  Jerusalem, and Haifa. Clubs like Shalvata, Lima Lima, City Hall, Layla Bar.  Then I came back to New York and gigs started to add up, residencies here and there. I’ve worked at clubs like Beauty & Essex, WiP, Double Seven, Top of the Standard, Yotel, Stash, STK Midtown, Gansevoort Park, Bounce Sporting Club on 21st, Haven Rooftop.

How would you describe your musical style, and how do you adjust that for the crowd and event?

I’m a 100% open format DJ. I love all types of music and I’m not afraid to drop anything. It’s not about what you play, it’s about what you follow up with. You can drop a song from the ’70s and people start to get into it. For the next song, whether it’s a huge club banger or a perfect smooth transition, it can make the song before it that much better. My outgoing personality shines through my beats, like a sixth sense. I bleed hip-hop, ’80s, rock, house, and still stay true to the music and dance floor because I keep those classics in the mix. And I have no problem playing the most current, hottest tracks, to do whatever I can to keep the dance floor packed till dawn.

So you believe that the context is important, it’s not about any one individual song, it’s about the whole set and the vibe you’re putting out there?

Yes. It’s not like I’ll play one ’80s song, one ’70s song, one rock song, one hip-hop song. Then it can be a bit ADD. It’s more about the way you blend different genres of music together throughout the night to build that crescendo. You finish the night and people look at their watches and they can’t believe it’s four in morning and the club’s still packed.

What do you have going on with the Super Bowl?

I’m down in New Orleans Thursday through Monday. I’m working at the NFL House, doing parties Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and I’m doing a number of parties for CBS, including pre-game and post-game on Sunday. The two CBS parties I’m involved in, there’s one Friday night at the Contemporary Arts Center, and Saturday I’m doing the party at Generations Hall with a live performance from Trombone Shorty, who is a really talented local guy who does huge live performances with a big band feel.

What else do you have coming up?

I’ll be DJing in the number one college town, Morgantown, West Virginia, at a place called Rock Top. I’ll be in Boston. I do a lot of private events for BlackBerry, since I’m the official Latin American BlackBerry DJ. In the summer I’ll probably have a lot of Hamptons gigs.

What clubs do you like to play in?

I like being close to the crowd. Mid-sized clubs work really well. I love working at Stash on 14th Street. Beauty and Essex is a great place to feel the energy and the vibe, and Double Seven is another spot where you’re right in the mix.

What’s on your iPod?

I have a series of playlists for all the new stuff I need to hear. There’s never enough time in the day to hear all the new songs. But when I’m relaxing, I love old school music. Old classic rock, ’70s, ’80s, things like that.

What do you do to relax and de-stress?

I love going to the Russian and Turkish Baths. Sometimes I just need a good shvitz. And I’m not afraid of the cold pool either.

What advice do you have for aspiring DJs?

Be as musically knowledgeable as possible. Everybody knows that electronic music is huge right now, techno, house, dubstep, but the more versatile you are, the more gigs you can play. If you want to specifically become an electronic music DJ, and that’s your passion, go for it, but if you’re trying to get noticed and get gigs and get experienced, the more versatile you are, the more avenues you have. Stay humble and keep in mind there’s a big line between work and play. Keep a clear mind.

Do you enjoy going out and experiencing DJs and live entertainment? Check out the BlackBook City Guides for all the best spots in New York and around the world. Download the free, GPS-enabled iPhone and Android apps, and sign up for our BlackBook Happenings newsletters for New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Knowledge is power. 

Industry Insiders: Chad Campbell, Night Rider

With a capacity of just 110, Mister H at the Mondrian SoHo is one of the most exclusive nightclubs in Manhattan, but general manager Chad Campbell works hard to keep it humble. The Kansas City native, who traveled the world before helping to open such New York clubs as Top of the Standard and Jimmy at the James hotel, aims to create a cozy environment, where the 1930’s Shanghai design stimulates conversation among guests.

His welcoming approach can be seen in the eclectic crowd that fills the space every night, where bottle buyers and models rub elbows with actors, artists, and creative people of all stripes. “I’m looking to see who’s going to add something to the energy and vibe of the room,” he says. “We want it to be a social, unpretentious environment where people are inspired to talk to their neighbors with no confines.”

Steve Lewis Returns: Healing by Hitting the Party Circuit

First of all, how have you been? I can’t reply fine, thank you, as I have spent the last week and change sick as can be. I was a guest of the very fabulous Beth Israel Hospital, where I was lost in a drug fog for six days. No snide remarks from the peanut gallery, please. It seems last weekend Amanda and I got bit by something very little while walking the puppies in McCarren Park. The bites, which were just a little more than a mosquito’s work, were annoying but unimportant at the time. However, the next morning, they were swollen, infected, and suddenly very important. Within a day the swelling and all the guck associated with infections had spread to the neighboring fingers, my whole hand, and up my arm.

I went to Beth Israel thinking they would lance it, bandage it, give me some antibiotics, a couple of Advils, and send me home. Next thing you know I have a half-dozen IV’s in me and scalpels are slicing me up. I must have had 20 injections a day for my entire six-day stay. I felt like an Obama voodoo doll in Islamabad. Oh well, the Staph Infection that I got was respondent to antibiotics and I cured quickly. It could have been worse. Some say I got the infection from what appeared to be a spider bite and then picked up the Staph at the hospital. We’ll never know.

I have become an expert on spiders now. It’s very rare to get one, the experts say, but everyone that visited me said they knew someone who’d gone through it. It seems we New Yorkers buy lots of firewood, Christmas trees, antiques, and other things from exotic places where the nasty critters thrive. They hitchhike in and settle in our basements and walls, venturing out when the weather suits them. In Pennsylvania, I saw people bitten by Brown Recluse spiders, even though many experts swear they don’t venture that far Northeast. The crew that visited me daily were amazing. I lacked for nothing while I longed for my own bed. Beautiful women dressed for the evening popped by with flowers and DVD’S to the amazement of a staff who have seen everything. Although very weak, I ventured out last night to attend a few can’t-miss events.

Firstly, I rushed to a very early Cinco de Mayo affair at the besieged Los Feliz. This was a Cointreau-blessed gala hosted by the extraordinary Dita Von Teese. There was a new cocktail for the occasion, the Countreau MargaDita, and a menu by chef Julieta Ballesteros. I love Dita. I’d walk a thousand miles for one of her smiles. I promised Amanda I would drink responsibly and mind my manners. Murray Hill, just back from her whirlwind London Showbiz tour, made the introductions. I was shocked and awed—I had seen Dita do her thing a couple times at the now-defunct Happy Land. If you’ve never seen her perform for yourself, you surely have to. We chatted small talk, but agreed to bigger down the line. I was ready to move on to the next event.

When I had my fill of MargaDitas, I trotted off to the press preview/sneak peak at the kitchen of Joey Verdone’s APL. Marc Dizon and I designed the joint, and I was just dying to see the place with people in it who aren’t plumbers, painters, or electricians. Alas, those people rarely are invited back, even though they spend a year making it right. That’s not a criticism at all, it just happens on every job. The last week, when I was out of commission, the final tweaks were done. I am so upset that I couldn’t be there tweaking away, as this place has been a labor of love, and I sure hope people love it. There has certainly been ups and downs, and changes and delays, but in the end it looks like the right place, in the right location, at the right time. When the folding doors are all pushed to one side revealing the multi-layered, colorful Hobbit hole we have offered, I think the place will be wonderful. Lat night’s Cinco de Mayo bash was super-duper fun.

After all that, I still had my land legs. I headed to Hudson Hotel for the Vice Magazine soiree where my favorite new band, Davila 666, was playing. They’re from Puerto Rico, and Amanda knows them from there. I told you about them a couple of weeks ago. They are more fun than a barrel of MargaDita-drunk monkeys, and I’m telling you to catch them whenever you can. Vice parties have their vices, and too many were lurking around to enjoy myself. After the band, I looked for a sweeter solution. I didn’t have to go far.

I had an amazing meal just upstairs at the Hudson Room, and caught up with Morgans Group Honcho Sal Imposimoto and his lovely bride, Andrea Westinghouse. They were celebrating their anniversary. We settled in at the Library bar for Kellie Calco’s weekly blast. Andrea is working the door at the Boom Boom these days. She recalled how she had been in NYC for like 30 seconds when she saw an FIT ad for a receptionist at Spa. I interviewed her and put her at the front door instead. We talked about the creative life, and I offered that a doorperson at a real-deal joint is indeed an artist. I called it a social curator. The art of picking and choosing, recognizing and cultivating, was taught to me by the master blaster of Studio 54 and Palladium, Steve Rubell. He taught me how to do it, and I passed it down to Andrea and others. Kenny Kenny and King added their vast knowledge. Some will dispute the importance, or the art of the job, and some clubs have taken the job away all-together. I still believe the door is the most important position to fill. DJs are available in vast (and talented) numbers, but I think there’s probably a dozen really good door people out there now. Most door gods forget that the real job is to get people in and make them feel like they belong. This debate is for another day, as I’m exhausted and will now go find my meds.

Parties: The Fashion Week Effect on Nightlife

Fashion Week has descended upon New York City, anointing new and yet-to-be-opened venues with its holy presence. Fashion houses and fashionable rags have shouldered their way into seen-and-be-seen restaurants and night spots, and have sold off their first born in order to offer their party guests a first look at some unopened places, like The Mondrian and the Darby’s buzzy basement. The perennial question: Whether to elect tried-and-true spots (or, in the case of Alexander Wang, gas stations and bounce houses) over what could be just a flash-in-the-pan hotspot. Herewith, a rumor-mongering and totally useless look at where all the week’s parties shall take place.

No Need for Dropping Bar Names Tonight, Stella McCartney will be watching out for our furry friends along with PETA, Tim Gunn, and Olivia Munn (last name rhyme-a-thon!) at her store for PETA’s Fashion Week fete. Also tonight is Waris Ahluwalia’s party at The Wooly to celebrate the buzzy launch of his line “Waris Loves You,” with Yoox.com and Karen Elson is rumored to perform with The Citizen’s Band. Not to be outdone, Fendi will be at Saks Fifth Avenue along with The New York Botanical Garden and a slew of fashion fixtures like Genevieve Bahrenburg, Byrdie Bell, and Lauren Remington Platt. We know this game all too well: we’ll have to leave our Frye boots at home. One place we can wear our beloved booties is the RETNA graffiti party at 560 Washington Street with fashion royalty, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, with an after-party at good ‘ol Indochine. Itinerary: Stella McCartney The Wooly Saks Fifth Avenue Indochine

Hotel Playgrounds The James has proven to be a great new nightlife addition, frequented by a slew of designers and celebrities, which means the hotel’s newbie restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, will be a big draw for the fashion crowd, and the rooftop bar Jimmy, will be packed—per the usual. But really, the buzz is all about the VMAN party rumored to be held at the not-yet-opened Mondrian—more specifically, Imperial No. Nine, chef/cool-guy Sam Talbot’s new restaurant therein. Reason for the buzz: VMAN’s cover featuring Kanye West with money in his mouth, shot by Karl Lagerfeld. We’d love to see the confirmed guestlist, pretty please? And of course, don’t discount The Standard Hotel. Although it’s not spanking-new, Boom Boom room will continue to dazzle, and blogger workshops for the Independent Fashion Blogger’s Evolving Influence conference (featuring Proenza’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez) will be held at Le Bain. Itinerary: The James David Burke Kitchen Jimmy The Mondrian Imperial No. Nine The Standard Hotel Boom Boom Room Le Bain

On the Verge Speaking of Le Bain, the French connection will see to it that the delayed Le Baron New York will have a proper place to party. Aside from Alexander Wang (who may just be hosting a chill party at his Soho store opening on February 15th) another person everyone is trying to befriend in time is Andre Saraiva. His Paris club, Le Baron, has always been the spot for Paris fashion week, and conveniently, the New York outpost is rumored to be opening in March. Though it’s been reported that it isn’t officially ready in time for NYFW, that doesn’t mean it can’t host private events and quiet gatherings for Saraiva’s closest friends. But instead of temp fate (or the Community Boards) the splashy Le Bain will host Le Baron and family on two separate occasions: on Friday with Kitsuné celebrating “Kitsuné Parisien” with hosts/music done by Gildas, André Saraiva, Annabelle & Alexander Dexter-Jones, and Grand Marnier from 11-4AM. On Sunday, the Nouveau York weekly will also host “Late Night with Le Baron, with music by Alex from Tokyo, Manu (Supreme Records) and Lee (Hamsa). The Darby has been open for a while, but rumors point to a private basement opening party this Friday, with a subsequent party open to the public (whatever ‘public’ means to the Darby folks) next Wednesday. Also on everyone’s mind: Westway, a former strip club resurrected, has bloodlines from The Smile and The Jane. Charlotte Ronson’s after-party is one rumored party slot in Westway’s schedule. Itinerary: Le Baron Basement of The Darby Westway